On November 2 from 4-7pm, the Silver City Museum will host a Día de los Muertos gathering like no other. Visitors begin by communing with the spirit of a local legend Johnny Banks at an Ofrenda Blessing Ceremony, then can choose to get their faces painted like sugar-skulls while enjoying live mariachi music and traditional refreshments in the magically decorated courtyard, then settle in for a special outdoor screening of Disney’s Coco.
At around 4pm, Silver City’s annual procession between community ofrendas will culminate this year at the Museum’s magnificent ofrenda in honor of hometown hero Johnny Banks, a unique and fiercely loved character from Silver City’s recent past. Margaret “Chickie” Beltran and her apprentice Nena Benavidez, creators of this altar, will bless it in a public ceremony of remembrance.
At 4:30, guests will file out into the courtyard to begin celebrating. Mariachi singer Angelica Padilla will set the mood, while Veronica Jimenez will be painting faces for the occasion. Pan de muerte (the official bread of the dead) and champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate) will be provided to guests as they mingle in the late-autumn weather, enjoying the ambiance and waiting for the sun to go down.
As the light dims (starting around 5:30), guests will get comfortable on the lawn to watch Disney/Pixar’s Coco. Set in Mexico during Día de los Muertos, this gorgeously animated film tells the captivating tale of a boy with musical dreams, held back by a tragic family saga and a mystery he pursues into the Land of the Dead.
The museum suggests visitors bring: chairs, blankets, and extra layers to keep warm during the movie. You may want to bring your own cup or thermos for the hot chocolate, and anything else you want to eat or drink. There will be a front row reserved for guests without chairs. Dogs are allowed in the courtyard as it is a public park, but please bring only well-behaved pets. Only service animals are allowed in the Museum itself, where the ceremony takes place.
The Silver City Museum creates opportunities for residents and visitors to explore, understand, and celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of southwestern New Mexico by collecting, preserving, researching, and interpreting the region's unique history. Admission is free; a suggested donation of $5 helps support the museum’s education programs, collections care and exhibitions. For more information, please contact the museum at (575) 538-5921 firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit the museum's website: www.silvercitymuseum.org